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BELOW THE  BOTTOM RUNG                               35
4 But surely,' I exclaimed, * you've got some authority as their
commaiidirg officers ?'
6 No, I haven't. Not in & thing like that. Why, the very rumour
of those chaps coming has caused a hell of a row all day—deser-
tions, insolence, insubordination. I had to give in. I don't
want to start another Indian Mutiny,'
He swallowed his drink and, sighed.
"Sounds silly, I know,' he said, 'but the worst of it was that one
of the chaps cried. Said I'd broken his heart. 3Ie ! It's pretty
grim when a chap like that starts crying/ He aughed uneasily.
* Maybe I'm well shot of him—maybe he was a cissy. Oh, what
the hell, anyway. x
SCEXE Two. A village in a remote part of the south-west. I
have come to see a temple which is reputed to be of great beauty.
The expedition is not a success ; the temple is devoid of any archi-
tectural interest and is only notable for the astonishing obscenity
of the Phallic scenes which are carved roxuid its base. This has a
curious affect on an American lady who is also g^ing the rounds.
Acting on the principle that evil, like beauty, is in the eye of the
beholder, she decides to put on a bold front, and drags me round
the building, prodding her umbrella at the most abandoned
exhibitions and trying to treat them from a purely aesthstic
point of view. We came to one scene where everybody was so
upside down and inside out that it should have been labelled
*Sex in the Gymnasium.3 She regarded it with a cold, unblinking
stare. "Definitely the Jain influence,' she proclaimed, with a ring
of challenge. I had rxevcr heard it call that before.
Having digested the obscsrities, I was at a loose end. The lady
took her leave as it was very hot, and she was obviously exhausted
by her unwonted championship of the Religion of the Red Light.
But I wanted to explore the village so I left her sitting in the
shade of the temple, silhouetted iu lofcy isolation against a back
ground of ape-like ecstasies.
I came to a big mad hut.    It was the village school.   I peered
1 This story could be multiplied ad nauseam. However, it is worth noting that
, the Army, once it has got hold of a man, is proving a powerful instrument in under-
kvjninmg the extreme caste sysiem. Discipline, comradeship, and above all a common
sense of danger shared, haie worked wonders m the present war.   When the boys
•come marching home we may look out for fireworks.